I recently began flirting with the idea of possibly buying property, most likely a condo or a townhouse. I’m tired of throwing my money away to rent and it is so frustrating that every year, for no reason that I can see or benefit from, the rent goes up and up and up. Also, I love the idea of having a place that is truly my own. Everyone in my life seemed to be on board and think this idea was worth exploring. That made me even more excited!
Last week I met a realtor and last night I met with a mortgage guy. I just started to explore all my options, looking at what I can afford and started learning about how the whole process works. Last saturday I even looked at a place! It ended up being totally gross and not something I was even remotely interested in, but it was still fun to look. I’m due to re-sign my lease at the end of this month, so exactly one week from today. My plan was to have an idea if buying is something I really, really want to do by the that time and then go from there.
The idea of buying something seemed like a smart move and something I really wanted to do. After talking to the mortgage guy I knew it something that was actually possible for me to do to. My plan was to take this slow and really explore every option, looking at a ton of properties and wait till I found the perfect fit.
I’ve been doing SO much thinking the last week about my lease, about looking at properties, about finances, about where my life will be in a couple of years. I was feeling just slightly overwhelmed. I honestly wasn’t sure which way I was going to decide to go with this decision. Also – where the heck would I buy something? I’ve always wanted to live in Minneapolis, but that seems so inconvenient now.
Today I had lunch with (who I consider) my second parents, Joan and Kit Grier. They are my best friend Jenny’s parents. They are moving to Florida in one week to start chapter of their lives, a new adventure. Talking with them today about what lies ahead for them, and what lies ahead for me… I realized that I don’t want to buy a house. Sure, it’s a good investment and I wouldn’t be throwing away my money to rent, but at the same time it takes away something I’m not ready to give up yet.
It takes away the flexibility and possibility for change that comes with renting. If I look at my life and how much it has changed in the last 2 years, it makes me realize that I still don’t know exactly what I want to be doing, or where I want to be down the road in a couple of years. I know I want to continue teaching more and working at the clinic, but I don’t know what life is going to send my way. If an awesome opportunity comes up for me to move somewhere (where it be to Minneapolis or California), I want to be able to take it without the hassle of selling or renting a house. If my boyfriend and I decide to move in together, it makes that situation less complicated too. I don’t want to be anchored down anywhere just yet. I don’t know exactly what life has in store for me in the next couple years and I LOVE the idea of that. I love the idea of keeping my options open. Not that buying a house would make any of those things impossible, but it adds a level of complication I’d have to deal with that I don’t want to worry about.
I definitely found some clarity today. I wasn’t even talking about the idea of moving when it hit me. The moment I had this realization though, I just knew. My head quieted down enough for me to listen to my heart. My gut is telling me it isn’t the right thing to do, and I always go with my gut. It hasn’t proven me wrong yet. So…I am not going to buy a house. It was fun idea to explore (and I definitely learned a lot), but I am not ready for that yet…and that is ok. I have too many dreams and ambitions that just might lead me down a different path. That path might keep my in Burnsville, MN, which I would be more than ok with, but I’m not ready to decide where I’m going to end up just yet.
So, I’m staying put…for now! 🙂
4 thoughts on “Going with My Gut”
After owning a house where we were “upside-down” in our mortgage, the relief I felt upon selling it (at a loss) was monumental. After a divorce, I was starting a new chapter in my life as well, and the flexibility and sense of freedom that renting gave me provided peace and breathing room. It’s great that there are different options, so that people can do what’s right for them at various stages in their lives; there is no one answer. Good for you for having the courage to explore your options and learn more about owning real estate. Knowledge is power and it sounds as though you gained enough knowledge to make an informed AND intuitive decision!
I went through much of the same process! I think you’re making the right decision. A few things:
1. It is YOUR decision 100%. I think you know that, but there are times when you’ll think “eek, I don’t know what I’m doing, someone just decide!” They can’t. Only you.
2. You are not throwing your money away on rent. You are buying a service, just like when you buy groceries or get a hair cut. Equity is not as important for our generation as it was for our parents (and our grandparents). The world has changed since you were supposed to buy a house and get married in your early 20s. You may NEVER own a house; it doesn’t mean you wasted your money. Think about the last time you heard someone say “Look how much money I saved by buying this house!” Never. You have never heard anyone say that. What do you hear? “I need a new roof.” “Holy crap, the basement flooded.” “The hot water heater just went.” “Yeah, the previous owners painted over the mold and didn’t disclose it. I’m completely f-ed.”
3. Do you like your weekends? How about your time after work? Looking to trade it up for mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, washing the windows, painting the trim? (Or paying someone with all that money you saved buying over renting to pay someone, perhaps? 😉 )
There are lots of advantages to buying, obviously. You can have a garden. You can tear a wall out and paint the walls black. You can have ten dogs. But, don’t get into the mindset here that there’s a “right” and a “wrong” decision. You will be just fine either way–and your home is your home, no matter where it is.
Awesome advice! 🙂 Thank you!!!
Definitely! When you’re unsure, that’s what renting is for. Good for you for going with your gut! We bought a house and 8 months later got a job transfer to MN…that’ll teach ya! Maybe we’ll buy again when the time is right. But for now I’m a happy renter. It’s all good! ❤